Growing up into adulthood, you probably began to associate hearing loss with growing old. Nearly all of us have past experiences with older people struggling to hear conversations, or wearing hearing aids.
As you begin to get older, you start to realize that there is a further cause of hearing loss in addition to aging.
Feeling old is the number one reason people can’t admit they are suffering from hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Is an “Any Age Condition”
Even in pre-teens, hearing specialists can already identify some amount of hearing loss in 13% of instances. Obviously, somebody who is 12 is not really “old”. Teen hearing loss has increased 33% within the last 30 years.
What’s going on here?
2% of 45 – 55-year-olds and 8% of 55 – 64-year-olds presently have disabling hearing loss.
The issue is not with getting old. What you may think of as age-associated hearing loss is actually 100% avoidable. Substantially decreasing your hearing loss is very achievable.
Age-related hearing loss, recognized medically as sensorineural hearing loss, is most frequently instigated by noise.
For a long time people have assumed that hearing loss was simply part of aging. But nowadays, hearing experts know more concerning exactly how to take care of your hearing and even restore it.
How Loud Noise Causes Hearing Loss
You must realize that loud noise is not harmless if you wish to start to protect your ears.
Waves of pressure are what makeup sound. These waves travel into your ear canal. They travel all the way down past your eardrum into your inner ear.
Tiny hair cells vibrate here in the inner ear. Which hair cells vibrate, and how quickly or frequently they vibrate, become a neurological code. This code will be translated by your brain into the sound of crickets, someone yelling for assistance, a jet plane, or any other sound which may be around.
The issue is that as noises are too loud these little hairs are injured beyond repair. The sound vibrates them to death.
When these hairs are gone then so is your hearing.
Why Noise-Related Hearing Loss is Irreversible
Various types of damage can be healed by your body. These little cells never heal. When they die, they are lost permanently. The more frequently you’re exposed to loud sounds, the more tiny hair cells die.
Hearing loss advances as they die.
Hearing Injury is Caused by Everyday Noises
Many people are surprised to learn that routine activities can be the cause of hearing loss. It’s easy to overlook:
- Going to a concert/play/movie
- Wearing earbuds/head phones
- Turning the car stereo way up
- Mowing the lawn
- Using farm equipment
- Riding a motorcycle/snowmobile
- Driving on a busy highway with the windows or top down
- Working in a factory or other loud industry
- Playing music in a band
You don’t have to quit these activities. Thankfully, you can take proactive steps to lessen noise-related hearing loss.
You Don’t Have to Feel old Just Because you Have Hearing Loss
You can accept that you suffer from loss of hearing without having to feel old. In fact, failing to recognize it can guarantee faster advancement and problems that will cause you to you feel much older in only a few years including:
- Increased Fall Risk
- Social Isolation
- More frequent trips to the ER
- Strained relationships
It’s much more likely for people with untreated hearing loss to suffer from one or more of these.
Further Hearing Loss can be Prevented
The first thing you have to do is learn how to to avoid hearing loss.
- Discover how noisy things truly are by getting a sound meter app on your phone.
- Harmful volumes should be avoided without the correct hearing protection. Over 85 dB (decibels) can cause permanent hearing damage in 8 hours. 110 dB takes about 15 minutes to cause irreversible hearing loss. 120 dB and above will cause instant hearing loss. A gunshot is around 140 to 170 dB.
- Know that If you have ever had trouble hearing temporarily immediately after a concert, you already caused permanent damage to your hearing. Over time it will become worse.
- Put on earplugs or maybe sound-dampening earmuffs when necessary.
- Follow work hearing protection guidelines.
- Regulate your exposure time to loud sounds.
- Refrain from standing close to loudspeakers or turning speakers up at home.
- Invest in earbuds/headphones which have integrated volume control. These don’t go higher 90 decibels. You would have to listen pretty much non-stop all day to cause irreversible damage.
- High blood pressure, low blood oxygen, and several medications tend to cause you to be more vulnerable at lower volumes. To be safe, never listen to headphones at over 50%. Car speakers differ.
- Wear your hearing aid. Not wearing a hearing aid when you actually need them causes the brain to atrophy. It’s similar to your leg muscles. If you stop walking, it gets much harder to walk.
Call a Hearing Professional for a Hearing Exam
Are you putting off on it or are in denial? Make the right decision sooner than later. You need to be aware so that you can be proactive to minimize further damage.
Speak to Your Hearing Specialist Regarding Hearing Answers
There are no “natural cures” for hearing impairment. If you have extreme hearing loss, it’s time for a hearing aid.
Do a Cost-Benefit Analysis of Hearing Aids
Many sufferers are either in denial about hearing loss, or alternatively, they make the decision to “tough it out.” They believe that hearing aids will make them feel old. Or they think they cost too much.
But as soon as they understand that hearing loss will become worse faster and can cause various health and personal complications, it’s easy to see that the pros well outweigh the cons.
Consult a hearing care expert today about getting a hearing examination. And if hearing aids are advisable, don’t be afraid of “feeling old.” Hearing aids at present are much sleeker and more advanced than you may think!